Nets won’t hit panic button, put positive spin on current four-game losing streak
The Brooklyn Nets were handed their fourth-consecutive loss Thursday night in a 113-109 setback courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks. While such a slide with a season coming to a close is arguably a source of concern, it seemingly is not causing any sense of panic on the team.
In fact, Nets head coach Steve Nash actually put a positive spin on the current slide, saying it could be a good thing.
“This is good for us, frankly,” Nash told reporters during his postgame presser. “Some adversity, some higher level competition is I think what this team needs going into the playoffs. We have no common experiences together in that setting. These are a little bit of a dress rehearsal.”
Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 45 points in Thursday’s loss, expressed similar sentiments.
“I think it’s good we have those tests now,” Irving said, via ESPN. “Those challenges, you know. It’s been too easy at times. So, it’s good.
“… You know, we’re not a perfect basketball club,” Irving added in subsequent comments. “I don’t think we’d be doing ourselves a great service if we weren’t honest. You know, we haven’t played well in terms of spurts throughout the game, especially when it matters.”
As did superstar Kevin Durant.
” I’m glad it’s happening now for us instead of in a couple weeks, and hopefully we build off of this and keep growing, and I hope we feel this pain, I guess, from losing, feeling like we’re not where we want to be.”
“… I think it is going to make us better.”
It makes sense that a team as talented as the Nets aren’t reaching to push the panic button. However, the current losing streak has come at a price, as Brooklyn (43-24) is now 2.5 games back of the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers (45-21). Odds of the Nets making up that deficit and securing the No. 1 seed with only five games remaining in the regular season will be difficult.
Still, the Nets obviously would like to right the ship somewhat before heading into the postseason regardless of positioning or seeding. A return to a full complement of players would help as well, as James Harden has been out over one month due to a hamstring strain. The superstar did indicate Thursday that he is “very confident” he will return before the start of the postseason.
Nash added Thursday night, however, that the Nets will play it safe with Harden.
It remains to be seen whether Harden does indeed return to the court for any of the Nets’ remaining regular-season games. If Brooklyn can get their Big Three all operating at full health and playing a high level in the playoffs, it goes without saying the Nets will present an incredibly formidable challenge for any opponent.